How do I begin? It is a question I ask myself each day I wake up and with everything I do. I never thought in a million years this life would confront me with my darkest fears. It has been almost 3 years and it seems like yesterday that my life shattered into pieces and I have not been able to pick any of the pieces up. I have managed to get up, do as I would have should my husband still be here, but I am numb in the process… Unlike some, I have not been able to say the word widow more than the times I can count on my hand, I have not been able to speak of Eddie without shattering or going too deep into the conversation because I fear of breaking once again, I have not been able to accept…
For these past few months, reality for some reason has started to hit home and many times unbearable. I have gathered the strength to finally take some pictures out of boxes and very slowly begin the process of grief that I so dread… I am still very numb so to say, but deep in my heart I find the strength to slowly begin talking of Eddie so that his name is not forgotten, his love is still felt and his presence is always in the hearts of those who cherish him… It is very much a slow process, very painful, so painful I have hidden from life to avoid the pain, but I am trying slowly to speak once again…
Eddie and I met in high school, he was 15 years old and I was 14, we were only 6 months apart… I met Eddie outside of school, it was really late and no one had picked up either of us. I was sitting in front of the school in a bench practicing my choir music, it was so lonely I decided to start singing out loud and there he came surprising me—right next to me standing he said, “sing to me.” I freaked out, being the shy girl I was and well… I left. Little did I know he had listened to me sing for a while…Next day- It was 2 weeks from my Quinceanera and I had my friends bring their own dancing partners to the house, a knock at the door came and surely, it was Eddie and a friend… They were going to be dancing partners to 2 of my friends. My first thought was,“Oh my God, how embarrassing.” In the midst of all the commotion of practicing, I got upset and began speaking loud so that everyone could hear me… next thing I hear Eddie is saying some random insult out of nowhere just calling me out, so hell I said, I will return it back and well he got his fair share that day. I was so upset that I wanted to just chunk him out of the house and well…..I did that too. The next day, September 25, 2001, I went to school, I turned around the corner and there he was surely; he snuck me in a corner and put his arms around me and said “So what’s the deal?” For some divine reason lol, I did not leave that corner without me saying I was his girlfriend… I was crazy, the butterflies started rumbling around my stomach… I liked his assertiveness, but more than anything, how determined he was to get my attention…The following day, I met his mother and he told her, “Hey mom, this is my girlfriend Keyris, you will be seeing her for a very long time” and his mother just kind of smiled… I just felt kind of awkward, but happy because he just seemed to know exactly what he wanted from the very beginning!
The next few weeks of my life were submerged into the beautiful word we call love… Over the next few months I learned about him, his passion for JROTC, spinning those riffles, his love for magic tricks and playing pool. He was so humble and by far not rude at all but rather the most giving and lovable person. By age 16, we became this crazy couple in love, we were the perfect dancers together, we were inseparable… By the end of the year, he had proposed to me, we were both 16… Our families thought we were too young and just ignored us, but in our hearts we were married… For his senior year, I got another ring and for my senior year—I got the real one… Our high school years were filled with so many beautiful memories and a million public displays of affection tickets lol!
In July 2004, he left to basic training; I was still in high school… I was so afraid, but I knew that it was his wish and somehow it would only make us stronger… In December 2004, he graduated from basic training and AIT in Missouri. When we saw each other again, it was like being love drunk!!! Well, that’s another story…
We had never been separated more than a few hours before he left to basic… Shortly, we found out he would be stationed in Germany. By December 24, 2004, Eddie proposed to me in our beloved Galveston Island, in the SNOW!… By December 27, 2004 we were married; I was still in High school… We spent 4 long months waiting for my graduation … By May 2005, I had graduated high school and we left to Germany 5 days later…
In Germany we enjoyed our time traveling to different countries. In Germany, we shared some of the most beautiful memories together as a married couple… So many memories, I will one day find the strength to write of… June 2006, we were stationed in Georgia, by that time we wanted to start a family, but our plans were interrupted by the notification of deployment. The next few months were composed of uncertainty because the date kept on being extended. January 2007, he left… It was very difficult to digest, but we learned to take one day at a time. By April he had re-enlisted again… Our last conversation was April 27, 2007. April 28, 2007 06:38, a knock at the door…- my life shattered, half of my heart was ripped out of me, and my soul was thrown in a mist of darkness and pain… My husband had lost his life a few hours after we spoke……
Eddie was and will continue to be one of the most humble and loving person God has ever created… I am blessed to know I was his “Vida”, as he always called me, and to know we loved with a love that was greater than love, that conquered it all… Eddie was a man of many great talents, he could make you smile with his magic tricks, fool you into a game of poker, beat you in any game, play pool with you until the night went out and dance your heart out like there was no tomorrow. More than anything, Eddie loved to make you smile, make you laugh and love all those around him with his humble personality…
Though the pain is unbearable at times, I find myself starting to return to those pictures, those memories, and those items that remind me of him. Though my heart aches in the process, I find those shiny twinkles in his eyes, that in return bring tears but also a tiny smile to my face; To know we were so happy together and that those memories can never leave or be taken from us.
Strong is our unconditional love
It goes beyond the life and deep into the soul.
I am yours and you are mine.
We are one and in spirit we soar together.
Keyris M. Tamez
*SPC EDDIE D TAMEZ*
February 18, 1986- April 27, 2007
Operation Iraqi Freedom